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  • Jessica Rider

10 Things That Can Happen While You Are Camping And How To Fix Them

We all know it is not “IF” something happens when you are camping but “WHEN” something will happen. You have been there and we have certainly been there as well. It stinks when this stuff happens but hopefully this blog will help you understand what to do when this happens to you.

This list certainly is not all encompassing but rather a short list of the common things that we have had people call us about that can easily be fixed over the phone. Most of the time these quick fixes will work but every once in a while there is a need for a visit from a technician like us.

Take note of the simple solutions we offer to these challenges that can happen during camping season.

I plugged into shore power but both my A/C units are not coming on

If this happens to you first check that you are on a site with enough amperage to run both A/C units. Confirm that your units worked the last time you used your RV and/or the last time you did a maintenance check on the units and everything checked out fine. Check your shore power plug to ensure that it is functioning properly and your ground wire is not damaged. Last check with the campground to make sure the amperage coming out of the box is in fact the right amount.

I cannot get my slides to extend or retract

Most people don’t realize that your slides run off your battery and not off of shore power. Plugging in your shore power cord will not get the slides to work. You need to check your battery. The easiest thing is to check to see if your battery got switched off for some reason. If this is not the case then you need to check the voltage coming out of your battery. If this is dropping then you are not getting enough juice to run your slides. If this happens while you are out you may need to go to a local hardware or automotive store and get a new battery. If you are not able to get to a hardware store to replace the battery there should be a way on your RV to manually retract a slide depending on the type of slide system you have.

I blew a fuse, how do I change it?

First and foremost when dealing with electricity you need to make sure you turn the main power off so you don’t inadvertently shock yourself. Next locate your fuse box and open the panel. Look at the fuses and determine which one is out, there should be red light next to the fuse which will indicate that it is blown. Determine the type of fuse this is, i.e a 15 amp fuse, and replace it. After you have replaced the fuse you need to turn the main power back on and ensure that everything is functioning correctly.

My awning will not retract

If you are out camping and all of a sudden your awning will not retract, the first thing you need to do is check your battery to make sure it is not switched off for any reason. Then, like your slides, check the voltage coming out of the battery to ensure you have enough. If all of this checks out then take a look at the end of your slide as there should be a place where you can insert a bit that will allow you to manually retract your awning.

My stove burner will not light

The first thing to always check when you have something that involves propane on your RV is if you have enough propane to operate the item you are trying to operate. If you have enough propane then you need to check your last maintenance notes to make sure that it worked properly on your last check. If all was working fine then the next thing to do is to make sure all the rest of your appliances that run on propane, i.e your furnace and refrigerator, work correctly then you can determine whether it is something with your propane system overall or just the burner. Either way you will most likely need additional help from a technician to check your propane lines for leaks or to change out a burner.

My refrigerator is not kicking on

The first thing to check if this happens is if your refrigerator is turned on correctly and getting the power to it that is needed to properly function. Next make sure nothing is tripping the power source in your RV. Third is to check your propane if your refrigerator runs on propane to determine if the system runs correctly on propane or not, if not then it could be something inside the refrigerator. This may require a technician to check the fuses on the back side of the refrigerator in the control panel to determine if they are still good or not. There are several other things that could be wrong but if you are not familiar with checking for continuity at the control board you may need to call a technician.

My water pump is not working correctly

If your water pump is not turning on again make sure your battery is good and is putting out the right voltage. If that checks out then most likely you have a bad water pump and will need to replace this. If this happens while you are out camping you may need to find a city water source at a different camp spot to hook up to so you can bypass your water pump.

I found a leak after I hooked up to city water

The first thing you need to do is turn the water off so it does not continue to flow through your lines. Next you need to locate the leak and determine if you need to cut the line and replace it or if it is a leak in a water tank you may need to replace the water tank. These are things that are very hard to do while you are out camping but if you can find a local hardware store to replace the line that may work. Unfortunately there really is not a way to not use that portion of the water line. You will need to cap the line if you can or replace it. Again if it is a tank that is leaking you will have to replace the tank.

My furnace is not getting hot

Your furnace runs on propane so of course check that first and also determine if the furnace worked on your last maintenance check or the last time you had your RV out. If those things checked out then you need to know if your furnace kicks on when you turn the thermostat on, meaning it sounds like it is trying to light and it just doesn’t or if you don’t hear it trying to light at all. If it is trying to light it may be a sale switch that needs replaced or could even be a regulator that needs replaced. If the furnace is not kicking on at all when you turn the thermostat on then you most likely need to have a technician come and diagnose further what could be the issue as they may need to dig into the electrical system of the furnace.

My A/C is not getting cool enough

The one thing to note is that your A/C systems are only meant to keep the temperature 20 degrees cooler than it is outside so if you are camping in 100 degree weather your A/C units will only keep your RV around 80 degrees. Some other things it could be is that you are not pulling enough power from your power source to efficiently run your system or if you have not checked your unit in a while it could just be dirty and needs a good cleaning. If you are doing regular maintenance on your RV then this should not be an issue but you need to make sure you have done your maintenance. If this is understood then you need to make sure you are not leaking freon, you may see a green stain or smell an ammonia smell when you take the cover off your unit that is on your roof. Note that you cannot just add freon to the system so if you see this understand that you may need a new unit and should call a technician.

We never suggest that anyone dig into any electrical systems within their RV without having the knowledge of how the electrical systems work properly to avoid any physical damage to themselves. Many of these suggestions may work to get you through the camping trip you are on but will require a deeper inspection or repair to your system. If you are not comfortable doing this then please call a technician for help.

While these complaints seem easy enough and most of the time the fixes are simple they all can be avoided with some simple maintenance. If you have not downloaded our FREE CHECKLIST for all your yearly maintenance needs, please do it now. You can save yourself a lot of time and headache if you keep up on the maintenance. This will help you troubleshoot a lot easier as well when you know you just did maintenance and the specific item was working correctly.

You can always reach out to us if you get in a bind via our text a tech line at 314-907-0937.

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